How do perceptions of nutrition influence student nutritional health behavior and nutritional health seeking behavior?
The transition from high school to college is, for many, a drastic change in lifestyle, social networks, and dietary choices. The prevalence of obesity in college students has been steadily increasing. Freshmen weight gains have been associated with a decrease in fruits and vegetables and an increase in unhealthy items such as desserts, alcohol, and late night snacking after dinner. A survey of college students was constructed to gauge students' perceptions of nutrition how these perceptions influenced dietary practices and behaviors. Survey results indicated that awareness of nutrition and health does not translate to dietary practices, aligning with results from previous studies. Several sex differences were noted in regards to dietary choices and perceptions, knowledge seeking behavior, and sources of information. While there were some similarities, it is clear from the results obtained that men and women have different approaches and thoughts with regard to nutrition. The results showed that college students who actively seek our nutritional information are more likely to do so in the form of social media or Internet sources. This study could be useful for those planning on conducting college-based nutritional programs in that the results indicate patterns and trends that should be taken into consideration in order for a successful nutrition intervention